— The Erimtan Angle —

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) news spokesperson Amaani Lyle, who describes herself a “strategic communicator”, relayed on 27 August that “Pentagon officials announced the start of two training exercises this month. starts [28 August 2014] and concludes Sept. 12. Exercise Northern Coasts 2014 starts Aug. 29 and ends Sept. 12. Embarking on its 28th year, Combined Endeavor is a command, control, communications, and computer systems exercise involving 1,200 personnel from approximately 30 NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. It will operate at a main base with virtual forward bases for multi-national collaboration. In the Baltic Sea, the annual maritime exercise Northern Coasts 2014 includes underwater mine, countermeasure and counter-improvised explosive device training. Forces from at least five countries will participate”.[1]

And now that the Ukraine Crisis is spiralling out of control, NATO heads need to come together asap . . . well, maybe not that urgently but still . . . on the two days preceding the coming weekend (4-5 September 2014). David Deans, correspondent for Wales Online, notes that “[a]round 1,000 protesters marched through the streets of Newport [on Friday, 29 August] ahead of next week’s Nato summit. The city will play host to 150 heads of state and ministers on Thursday and Friday at the Celtic Manor Resort, but hundreds of people from as far as the United States say they aren’t welcome. Security for the summit will be provided by 9,500 police officers drawn from 43 UK police forces with 12 miles of security fencing already in place at keys sites in Cardiff and Newport. The event will be ‘uncharted territory’ for police – while Wales’ First Minister Carwyn Jones has said it will be ‘momentous’ in his country’s history. However, its presence in the principality – and the UK –has been met with strong opposition from a number of anti-war groups as well as left-wing organisations. Marchers with a myriad of concerns running from Palestine and Ukraine to nuclear weapons streamed through Newport city centre streets in a peaceful and trouble-free demonstration. Distance appeared to be no object with some of the protesters travelling thousands of miles to attend this and other events against the September 4-5 summit”.[2]

Following the end of the summit, none other than Chuck-himself, that is, the U.S. “Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will visit Turkey as the U.S. government tries to build [another] ‘coalition of the willing’ take on Islamic militants in Syria, the Pentagon announced [on 29 August]”.[3] The DoD propaganda publication Stars and Stripes is forthright about the Obama Administration’s ambitions to find other countries’ cannon fodder to sacrifice in its pursuit of the terror group formerly known as ISIS (or ISIL, as the Americans seem unwilling to insult the ancient Egyptian goddess), now calling itself the Islamic State: ‘[t]he U.S. military has been bombing Islamic State targets in Iraq since Aug. 8, and consideration is being given to expanding the air campaign into neighboring Syria’. Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby told the press that “Turkey is a key NATO ally. And given its border with Syria and Iraq, they share our deep concerns with . . . the regional threat posed by ISIL . . . We want a coalition of the willing. We want to seek partners in this effort”, adding that “Secretary Hagel has longstanding relationships with Turkey’s leaders, including the newly-inaugurated President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, and he views this visit as an important opportunity to advance our critical relationship”.[4] All in a day’s work, in other words, schmooze the Turks and bomb those out of line.

Putting the icing on the cake, the Prez himself then said: “Our message to the entire region is this should be a wake-up call to Sunni, to Shia, to everybody that a group like [the Islamic State] is beyond the pale; that they have no vision or ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people. And as a consequence, we’ve got to all join together — even if we have differences on a range of political issues — to make sure that they’re rooted out”.[5]

But, McClatchy‘s Hannah Allam and Roy Gutman critically remark that the “United States faces no small task in drumming up allies to fight the Islamic State as part of a new coalition that foreign policy analysts already are criticizing as a hollow effort unless the Obama administration proves a commitment to wading into a conflict it’s largely avoided for three years. Offering few specifics, U.S. officials this week announced that they were assembling an international coalition that could offer military, intelligence and humanitarian support in a joint campaign to dislodge the Islamic State, also known by the other aliases ISIS and ISIL, from the Iraqi and Syrian territories that make up its vast, self-proclaimed caliphate”.[6]



[1] Amaani Lyle, “DoD Announces Upcoming NATO, Maritime Exercises” U.S. Department of Defense (27 August 2014). http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=123025.

[2] David Deans,”Nato Summit 2014: Hundreds take to the streets of Newport in protest” Wales Online (30 August 2014). http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/nato-summit-2014-hundreds-take-7693809.

[3] Jon Harper, “Hagel going to Turkey as US tries to build ‘coalition of the willing’ against the Islamic State” Stars and Stripes (29 August 2014). http://www.stripes.com/news/hagel-going-to-turkey-as-us-tries-to-build-coalition-of-the-willing-against-the-islamic-state-1.300658.

[4] Jon Harper, “Hagel going to Turkey as US tries to build ‘coalition of the willing’ against the Islamic State”.

[5] Jon Harper, “Hagel going to Turkey as US tries to build ‘coalition of the willing’ against the Islamic State”.

[6] Hannah Allam and Roy Gutman, “US history in Mideast hampers hopes for anti-Islamic State coalition” McClatchy (28 August 2014). http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/us-history-in-mideast-hampers-hopes-for-anti-islamic-state-coalition-1.300525.


Comments on: "Exercise Combined Endeavor 2014, the Cardiff Summit, and Chuck in Turkey: Tackling the Islamic State and the Ukraine" (1)

  1. […] Source: Exercise Combined Endeavor 2014, the Cardiff Summit, and Chuck in Turkey: Tackling the Islamic State… […]

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